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I really wanted to go to Antelope Island this weekend, but it turns out that you can’t take day-long trips when you’re eight-months pregnant.  Pregnancy wasn’t really hard until this point, but now it’s really difficult.  I’m tired, my feet are swollen, and this baby loves to kick.  I’m so glad that she’s healthy and that I have this connection to her, but the books said that her punches would diminish because she’s  running out of room in there.  It doesn’t seem to be stopping her, but I also don’t know how she’s going to gain four more pounds in the upcoming months.

 

So instead of exhausting myself at Antelope Island, I went to Red Butte Garden.  There weren’t many birds around, but I did see one industrious Song Sparrow.

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He spent a long time foraging in the brush along the water.

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I thought he was just looking for food, but then he busted out into song.  There’s nothing like seeing a bird sing to improve my mood.

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My favorite Teddy Roosevelt position is when he extends his front paw like an arm.  He reminds me of the Dos Equis man when he does it.

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Teddy really likes me lately, maybe because I take him on a lot of walks to get my steps up.  I wonder if he’s extra protective because he knows I’m pregnant.  He’s taken to cuddling with me at night.  Sometimes he sits and stares at me.

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He owns both of us, separately.  With me, he protects me from any perceived threat.  When we walk, he stays very close when there are other people around, especially when they’re on bicycles or skateboards.  With Jon, he’s just very possessive.

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You know what’s hard?  Birding when you’re 32 weeks pregnant.  Getting out of the car is the hardest part.  I’m close to buying a Prius and I’m trying to decide between the regular one and the V.  The regular one is quieter, but it’s so damn uncomfortable right now.  The V has a lot more room.  I don’t want to make a decision based on a temporary condition.  Does anyone have any experience with Priuses?  I was all set to get an Outback, but the technology is too shitty to pay that much money.  The Prius has better gas mileage and technology and is 6k cheaper.

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I went to Farmington Bay today and the birding was pretty bad.  I’m happy, though, because it makes me think I haven’t been missing great birding while I was studying.  I did see one Red-winged Blackbird and I heard one singing his spring mating song, so hopefully I’ll get in some good birding before the baby comes.

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This Canada Goose is so smart!  Nevermind sleeping in the water or the mud when you can curl up in some hay.

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This whole field was filled with gulls.  They were plowing the field so hopefully the gulls were just eating bugs and not sprouts.

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Steller’s Jay

I don’t like change.  So I’m developing a habit where if I make a change, I make a bunch of changes all at once.  I graduated law school and moved with Jon to California.  I quit my job in California to move to Utah and bought a house with Jon.  Now we’re having a baby and I quit my job to start at another law firm.  I spent 500 hours last year on things for the firm that couldn’t be charged to a client.  Those in the field call it non-billable work.  That’s not counting all the weekends and evenings I’ve been studying for my classes.  I had no more to give, and it would break my heart to keep working like that with a baby at home waiting to see me.

 

I started at the new firm last week, I took my final for school, and I went birding for the first time since January!  I went to Red Butte Gardens because I’m pathetic and I get tired very easily these days.  It worked out well because there were some very active Steller’s Jays around.  Before this, I’d only seen them at much higher altitudes in Utah.

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There were three Steller’s Jays being very loud.  I knew the sound wasn’t a Scrub Jay, but it was similar.  I love their white eyebrows.

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Their plumage is gorgeous in full light; the stripes remind me of a Blue Jay.  It’s lucky to see it because they’re most commonly found deep inside the trees.

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Evenings in our house are usually spent with Teddy Roosevelt laying on Jon.  This picture is funny because he looks so sad, but he’s quite happy.

“Help!”

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Jon was away this weekend and Teddy was stuck with me.  I thought he’d be a huge pain because he likes to fight and play fetch when we’re all together.  But for some strange reason, when it’s just one of us and Teddy he’s very chill.  He spent a lot of time napping.

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Teddy Roosevelt’s black and white fur theme also expands to his insides.  He has black spots inside his mouth.

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When he’s had enough of resting, Teddy Roosevelt enjoys creating new yoga poses.

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28 Weeks

I hit 28 weeks last Friday and had a doctor’s appointment yesterday.  The baby is measuring right on track and should be about 2 1/4 pounds.

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I feel her kicking all day and every time I wake up during the night.  The doctor said that I should make sure I feel movement at least five times an hour.  I think this is hilarious because (1) I’m obsessive and it’s not helpful for me to pay that much attention to the baby when I really can’t do anything about it; and (2) when I pay attention I think she’s kicking more like 50 times an hour.  Sometimes she kicks or punches so hard I inadvertently make noises like “Oh” and “Oof!”  She’s getting strong in there.  The literature says that as she gets larger and there’s less room you feel the movement less, which is good because if she was 8 pounds with a lot of room I’d worry that she’d try to punch through.

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A lot of people have told me that the most amazing part of pregnancy for them was seeing the heartbeat.  For me it was definitely the kicking, or fluttering as they  used to call it.  I really like when she responds to music.  It’s fun to imagine that she has preferences, although they might be bad preferences because she was really active when listening to acid jazz.

White-collared Yuhinas

I wrote about the Black-chinned Yuhina last May.  They’re lovely birds and the pictures don’t do them justice because it was so grey outside.  These White-collared Yuhinas look much peppier because of the brighter background.  The white stripe on their crest might help.

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I always admire the acrobatics of birds that are after food.

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In researching these birds I found the best angle on this one.  They travel in flocks and can be found throughout Asia.  I’m always a fan of a bird with a crest so I’m a fan.

I’m now 26 weeks pregnant.  I’m freaking huge.  When the baby kicks it makes my stomach ripple like the water glass in Jurassic Park.  According to books and the internet, she’s about two pounds and has a 80% survival rate if born right now.  Also, premature girls have more advanced lungs than premature boys so they tend to do better.  Every week makes me a little bit calmer.

 

As a complete aside, don’t read What to Expect When You’re Expecting.  Every assertion in that book is cancelled out later in the book.  Make sure to eat enough for the baby, but don’t eat too much.  Make sure you’re getting enough exercise, but don’t exercise too much and don’t ever get out of breath.   Listen, I’m 26 weeks pregnant.  I get out of breath walking up a flight of stairs!

 

I can no longer run, so one way to get some exercise is to take Teddy Roosevelt for walks.  He looks so snazzy in his jackets!  This one looks a lot like one of my running shirts.

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He’s helping us practice putting clothing on him in preparation for the baby.

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 I’m a little bit crazy because it’s very muddy outside right now so when I take TR out, when he comes back inside I hold him in my arms as I wipe the dirt off his paws.  But otherwise he would make a huge mess!  What do you dog owners do?

Coots

This blog would be incomplete without pictures of coots in the winter.

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They seem a lot friendlier than other birds because they’re always in groups.

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It’s funny, coots barely make an appearance in Massachusetts where I grew up, but they seem so familiar to me.  When I was first getting into birds and we visited Golden Gate Park, I got so excited about seeing those crazy yellow feet on a coot.

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The Guys

The cockatiels had a great time hanging out with me while I studied today.  If no one is in the room they will hang out at the back of the cage where it’s dark.  If I’m in the room they get a little closer.  It looks uncomfortable.  Usually Conner and Trevor are together and then Stonewall tries to join them.

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Conner has been in a much better mood lately.  This is his playful face.  The birds were getting overly excited about crevices and Conner was considering his options.

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Stonewall loves being photographed.  He knows exactly what’s happening when I bring out the camera.

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